PSA L&P - Checks: How to set the check ceiling (next check number out of sequence)

How to set the check ceiling (next check number out of sequence)

Setting a check ceiling becomes necessary when the check number the software generates when printing checks is incorrect each time.

The accounting software generates the next check number as follows:

  1. When no check ceiling is set: it finds the highest existing check number and adds one. Looking at the example below, the highest existing check number is 3000, which is not in sequence with the other checks. With no ceiling set,  the next check number generated will be 3001.
    setceiling.jpg
  2. When a check ceiling is set: it finds the highest existing check number below the ceiling and adds one.
    • If you set the ceiling to 2999 in the example above
      • It will look for the highest check number below the ceiling and add 1.
      • Since 103 is the highest check number below 2999, the software will generate 104 as the next check number.
    • If the ceiling is set to a number higher than 3000, such as 10000 for example, it will generate 3001 as the next check number.
      • It will look for the highest existing check number below the ceiling and add 1.
      • 3000 is below 10000, so it will generate 3001 

This article will explain the following: 

 

How do check numbers get out of sequence?

  • You may have received a new set of checks which are numbered lower than your previous set, OR-
  • When an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) check number is assigned through the Bills screen, sometimes a numeric check number is assigned that is very large. If alpha characters are not included in that check number, the next generated check number will be that very high number plus one.
    • For example, a check number of 42520171 may be assigned to and EFT transaction which is dated 04/25/2017. Since no alpha characters are used in this check number when printing checks the next check number generated will be 42520172.
    • If this is the case for you and you have access to the Change Check Number Routine, you may add alpha characters to these numbers and this will put your checks back in sequence without having to add a ceiling.

 

How to prevent check numbers from getting out of sequence

  • When you assign a check number to an EFT or an ACH Transaction, add alpha characters to the number such as EFT42520171. A check number with alpha characters will not be considered when generating the next check number.

 

How to get your checks back in sequence

If my next physical check number is 20012, but due to an EFT or ACH entry, I have previously entered a higher number (42520171) with no alpha characters, my next generated check number will be out of sequence. The software will find the highest assigned check number below the ceiling if one exists or below 999999999 if one does not. It will add one to the number it finds. With no ceiling set, the next generated check number in our example will be 42520171 + 1.

To get your checks back in sequence, you must set a check ceiling.

  • A ceiling tells the software to look for the highest check number which is below the ceiling and add one.
  • It also tells the software to not go beyond this ceiling number when generating numbers.
  • The check ceiling must be high enough to allow a few thousand checks to print in sequence, but below the next highest check number.

In this example, we want the system to generate check 20012 but if we do not set a ceiling, it will generate check number 42520172.  In this case, the ceiling could be set to 42520170 since there were no checks with numbers between 20012 and 42520171.

 

How to set the check number ceiling

If your organization uses Primary/Subsidiary Bank Accounts, click the following link to learn how to set the check ceiling for primary subsidiary bank accountsGo into Accounts and use Quick Find to bring up the Checking Account. Then, at the bottom of the screen, you will find a Check Number Ceiling field. Add the number there and click Submit.
setcheckceiling.PNG

To verify the ceiling you have set will generate the next sequential check number, go into checks and select the account. You will see which number the system will generate the next time you print checks.

If this number is not correct, you must lower the ceiling to below this number.

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How to set the check number ceiling for Primary and Subsidiary Bank Accounts

Go into Setup → Primary and Subsidiary Bank Accounts → choose the bank account. In the field for  Check Number Ceiling fill in the number and submit.


To verify the ceiling you have set will generate the next sequential check number, go into checks and select the account. You will see which number the system will generate the next time you print checks.

If this number is not correct, you must lower the ceiling to below this number.


Related Articles

How to change the check number while printing checks

How to change the check number after printing checks

 

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